Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
SWEET SICILY'S FIRST ANGELVERSARY IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS.
Sunday, March 20, 2011 8:16 PM, CDT
It's the first day of spring for the year 2011. One year ago today the largest snowflakes I've ever seen slowly fluttered down from the sky and blanketed the ground. A friend explained that those extremely large round flakes were the discarded trimmings of Sicily's wings as the angels in heaven clipped and prepared them for her arrival. I wish I had a picture of that snow. I wish I would've run outside and captured a few of those beautiful flakes in a plastic bag so I could've stored them in the freezer and looked at and envisioned their purpose from time to time. I will just have to rely on my memory to remember how incredible that first day of spring snow was on March 20, 2010. The day before Sicily became a true heavenly angel.
This year, the first day of spring brought us eighty degree temperatures. Amazing how different things can be over one years time! Tomorrow, one year ago, our lives were changed forever. I spend a lot of my days, these days, in reflection of what has changed, how it has changed and, more importantly, how we've been able to adapt to this incredibly difficult change. We are quite different now. We will never be the same. We've come to realize that some things in life mean more to us while other things take on less meaning. I wish I could've learned and accepted this new way of life...this new way of thinking and feeling and understanding life without having had to sacrifice the young life of our precious little daughter, but unfortunately, it turns out that it was the only way God could get my attention. And that He did. He has my undivided attention now. He has my mind, my heart and my soul. He has my little girl, so I will do whatever it takes in the life I have left to ensure I can join the both of them someday!
We are going ahead with our plans to be in Wellington, KS tomorrow around 4:00 (give or take) to hold mass at Sicily's grave. We have no expectations for anyone to go out of their way to join us, though all are sincerely invited. We realize it will be spring break for the folks in Kansas and a lot of family and friends have already notified us that they cannot be with us. We completely understand! Do me a favor, though, if you could...look for signs of butterflies tomorrow, whether alive and fluttering around or just pictures or artwork of the delicately winged creatures. Think a sweet thought of Sicily. If you see pink or yellow...smile for a moment for the little girl who, without trying or even knowing what she was doing, changed lives. So many lives were changed for the better because of her. I couldn't be more proud to be her mommy...still!
Just in case someone needs directions to the cemetery in Wellington, I'm going to give it my best shot. From I-35 take the Wellington exit (I'm sorry...I just heard Charlie Sheen say, “Duh” in my head. I need to erase that image!!!) ; ) Turn right (west) onto Hwy 160. At the first stop light, turn left (south) onto Woodlawn. Approximately a few blocks down the road, turn left (east) onto Harvey which will end at Prairie Lawn Cemetery. Turn left at the entrance of the cemetery and drive through to Sumner Memorial Gardens entrance. Sicily is located a little north and east from this entrance. It's not a huge cemetery so it shouldn't be too difficult to locate her resting place. That's about the best I can do on directions!
We've been fortunate to stay busy this past week which has helped soften the sadness of this impending date. Patrick was away on a business trip so the kids and I left home, as well, and had the opportunity to hang out with my family for awhile. It did me a tremendous amount of good, even though I felt I was still experiencing a bit of anxiety from time to time. I can only imagine my condition if we had just stayed home over spring break! Since we've come home it's been a different story. I find myself soaking in a bath of tears one minute, and laughing over thoughts, stories and pictures of Sicily the next. The toughest time happened to be in church this morning...surprise, surprise. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I still break down when I hear certain music...especially when I hear the two choir members who sang during Sicily's service. Their beautiful voices haunt and comfort me at the same time. It's a beautiful experience, despite describing it with the word “haunt.” After losing someone, the word “haunt” just kind of becomes a norm in the vocabulary. I can't help but feel the sting of tears in my eyes when from time to time I envision her white coffin as it was gently rolled down the center isle of the church. Once again, visions that both stir great sadness and overwhelming joy at the same time (sadness that she is not with us but joy that she is in heaven). The words Father Joe speaks...so many times I feel them directed at me, though I know they are meant for all. My heart beats with a heavy burden when I hear him talk of children, and the loss of children, as he has done on many occasions. And then the music invades my emotions again. This morning we sang the hymn, “We Remember.” I'm glad we were seated in the rear of the church as there was no hiding the streams that rapidly developed and began to flow. I looked over at Patrick, who is usually able to keep his emotions under reign, and I had to turn over my last Kleenex to him. The beginning of the hymn had us both struggling... “We remember how you loved us to Your death, and still we celebrate for You are with us here. And we believe that we will see You when You come in Your glory, Lord. We remember, we celebrate, we believe.” The lyrics just took on a whole knew meaning for us!
Music has always been an important part of my life. It was been a huge crutch in my grieving process. A song that I first heard last spring continues to give me chills and I find myself drawn to listen to it over and over. It's called, “If I Die Young,” by The Band Perry. My favorite verse is, “Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother. She'll know I'm safe with you as she stands under my colors. Oh, life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no. Ain't even gray but she buries her baby. The sharp knife of a short life. Well, I've had just enough time.” I guess Sicily had just enough time. I still wanted a lifetime with her...what we mortals consider a lifetime, but God gave her “just enough time.” Time...something I don't think I ever have enough of, but my daughter had very little and it was “just enough!” I have to continue to work at seeing it this way!
I've got to go hunt down some pink and yellow articles of clothing for tomorrow. I know Isabella and I can handle that order, but the boys are a different story. ; )
Love to you all and God bless each and every one of you!!!
“Pocketful of Sunshine's mommy forever,”